The beauty of nature

I did a lab with my general biology students this week, looking at protists under the microscopes. It’s one of my favorite labs, no doubt about it! Protists are single-celled, either plant-like or animal-like, but not actually classified with either plants or animals. Some of them are remarkably beautiful. Spending time gazing under a microscope always gives me a renewed sense of wonder at the beauty of creation. Fortunately, this sense of wonder generally lasts much longer than the time spent looking under the scope, and I feel a greater appreciation of beauty in nature.

On my drive home one afternoon, I saw a flock of birds whirling and diving through the sky. Seeing a group of animals so in sync with each other that they move as one is amazing to me. Watch a group of cyclists (peloton in the racing world), and they tend to do the same, but not without occasional crashes or bumps and bangs against each other. I have never seen, nor even heard of birds crashing into each other in flight. It probably happens, but not on a regular basis. If only we humans could be so in tune with each other!

Every spring I look forward to seeing the first crocuses poking their pretty heads through last fall’s debris. The wave of warm weather we had a couple of weeks ago brought them out, and I took a quick photo with my iPhone:A few days later, we had a drizzly day that was cold. Everything was coated with a layer of ice, and my poor crocuses looked like this instead:

The beauty of it is that they were still gorgeous, despite their icy coating.

I hope I never lose my appreciation of beauty in unexpected places…


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